My second birth - Elijah

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Emily Tan shares her labour story with us!

This is my #2 birth; but it's almost as good as my 1st reason being I was induced and on epidural for #1. So, I really didn't know what to expect.

16/6/06 (Friday): Stomach feels weird. Contractions (if that’s what they are) feels different. Backache with pressure on bottom – the wanting to do big business type of feeling – but nothings’ coming plus menstrual cramps all morning.

11am: Told boss I want to take the next day off coz I have doc appointment plus husband is off. Boss said okay.

11.30am: Smsed my friend E complaining that the ‘pain’ is different. She said it sounds like contraction pains. Told me to go and see Dr Paul Tseng today coz he will be on leave from tomorrow till 19/6. Fingers crossed that Elijah doesn’t come when gynae is away. E said to better to go for a checkup and see how possible it is that Elijah will be arriving when Dr Paul is away.

Called the clinic to make an appointment. Told them I was having cramps. They said that the clinic is very full but come at 2pm sharp and the gynae will see me.

12noon: Told boss that need to see gynae at 2pm coz contractions feels different. He made me tell him what it feels like. He also ‘advised’ me on what real contractions would feel like –what a joke… like he has gone through them before… anyway, he said, this may be it!

2pm: Went to gynae clinic. Saw Dr Paul. He did VE. Said uterus still high… should be more time. “Okay, see you next week!”
Went back to work feeling a little blue. Sob sob… so, it is still not it?? Feel totally demoralised.

6.30pm: Left office for home.

9pm: Contractions were more regular. About 15-20 mins apart. But was still uncertain if this is it. Didn’t dare to tell hubby. Just told him feeling is different today.

9.30pm: Hubby left for work. I watched TV. Ethan was playing in my maid’s room.

10.30pm: Brought Ethan back to bed to put him to sleep. Noted that contractions were about 15-20mins apart. Still bearable.

11pm: Ethan fell asleep. I feel that the contractions were getting more painful. Tried different positions. Ehehee…. Prepare for real thingy. It would have been funny if anyone saw me at that time in the middle of the night on the floor of my bedroom in funny positions.

11.15pm: Couldn't take it. Want to do big business. Went to the toilet. Still nothing. Timed contractions using mobile – about 5mins apart. Smsed my birth supporter/friend C and asked if she can call me. She called immediately. She told me to go shower and change and prepare in case need to go to hospital. I told her too lazy. “What if it's a false alarm… I would still need to go and change into PJs before I can sleep?” She talked me through a few more contractions and helped me time them. We got about 20-30second contractions which were 5mins apart. I was determined not to go change yet… so we yakked on while I had contractions. Then we heard her son waking up… so we hung up and she said she’ll call later.

I stayed in the toilet as I didn't want to go out to disturb Ethan or the maid but wanted to stay near just in case he wakes up. Continued timing the contractions. Was about 3-4 mins apart now.

17/6 12.15am: C called back and asked how things were… she kept trying to get me to go change and go hospital. She told me that I was in denial labour! Heheee…. We timed the contractions again and by now it was 3 mins apart. She asked me how long more I intended to wait. I told her if possible by morning when my husband gets off work. She told me she’ll call me again at 1am.

12.40am: I noted that contractions were getting closer at about 2-3 mins apart. I called the hospital. They put me to labour ward. I told them I am having contractions 2-3 mins apart… this is my #2 pregnancy. They asked me to slowly get ready and make my way to hospital.

12.50am: Kept thinking and finally called dad to come and fetch me. Conversation went like this.
“Dad, where are u?”
“Braddell. Where are u?”
“Am at home.”
“So, why are you calling me?”
“Dad, think I need to go to the hospital.”
“Did your waterbag break?”
“Nope.”
“Then go to the hospital for what?”
“You want my waterbag to break for what? Break then later mess up your car, is it?”
“Okay… u wait. I’ll be there in 10-15 mins.”
“Okay.”
Hung up. Went for a shower, then went to put in last minute stuff into the bag. Wake maid up to tell her I need to go to the hospital. Called dad again and told him I’ll see him downstairs.

Reached downstairs at 1am - lagging my trolley bag. C called and I told her I’m going to hospital.

1.05am: Dad arrived. While on the way to hospital, had a couple of contractions.

1.15am: Arrived at hospital. Was taken to delivery suite immediately - walked up there alone with a guard lagging my own bag. Chased my dad to go to my home to take care of Ethan. Was asked to change into hospital gown. Gave urine sample.

1.20am: Nurse did VE check. Was 4cm dilated. “Wow! Your membrane is paper thin. Very very favourable. For this kind once water bag burst baby will be delivered. Very good. Very favourable. Don’t worry.”

1.30am: Went to the toilet after taking the med and was asked to remove bowels. The show appeared – a big blot of thick mucus with steaks of blood. After that, had a couple of very painful contractions. Wow! Think about 4 of them while I was there. So painful that I had to cry out and groan. Came out of the toilet after a contraction and went to bed. Immediately, another contraction hit. It was so bad so painful. I bussed the nurses. They came almost immediately. They told me they want to do another VE coz it seems like my condition has changed dramatically.

My husband called at that point. I told him, am 4cm dilated. Nurses screamed "No wait!! “8cm!!” I told husband… “No, not 4cm… 8cm… are you coming or not?” Husband said, “I can’t. Am working.” At that point, another contraction hit real bad and I told him bye and hung up. I cried - think was feeling so alone and in pain. Nurses consoled me and they quickly called Dr Eunice Chua - the replacement doc. Gave me the gas. Taught me how to breathe… next thing I know, I was knocked out and things seemed to be in a dream. I remember hearing the nurses say they called Dr Eunice Chua coz patient’s situation has taken on a sudden change dramatically - sounds like ER. Then they said something like they called Dr Eunice but was told Dr Paul hasn’t left town yet and that he’s on his way.

I was aroused – think nurses took off the gas mask. They told me Dr was here. For a moment, the thought of disappointment swept through me. I thought I had dreamed up the 4-8cm bit and that I was only 4 cm and I have to start all over again. Then, I saw Dr Paul smiling at me and I realised that it is for real!

Dr Paul checked me and said I am all ready. Dr and nurses started telling me to push to get baby out when I feel the urge. I tried. Wow! The pain!! I asked for water… throat was dry. Nurses told me, “Okay, one more push, when baby is out, we’ll give you water.” Grrr….

I tried pushing again. Wow! Pain!!! They told me it’s supposed to be like that. Just do it.

After 3 pushes I told Dr Paul “Give me the epidural! Give me vacuum… whatever! Just get the baby out.. I don’t want to push anymore.” Dr Paul said, “No, it’s going to be worse if I use the vacuum. U’ll tear even more. And there’s no time to have an epidural now.” Come push one more time."
“You always say one more time and baby will be out. I have pushed and pushed and still I have to push one more time?” Nurse said, “Just push. You don’t push it will be worse. Baby will be stuck there.” I thought - stuck there.. oh no!! Dr Paul said, “U see, feel baby’s head is already halfway out already.” I touched and felt Elijah’s head. I felt more motivation.

2.16am: Okay, one more push… baby’s head is out. Blow blow blow… baby’s body is born. HURRAY!! Dr Paul passed baby to me immediately. They waited for the cord to stop pulsating before cutting it in front of me with baby still in my arms.

2.30am: Husband walked into the delivery suite 15 mins after all the drama and saw Elijah. What a lucky guy to miss being boxed and abused by me!

Interestingly, the chosen Paeditrician Ms Allison Tan was also supposed to be going on leave from 19/6 till 25/6. So Elijah really made sure both his docs are around before being born. Thank God!!

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